Soldier who died while training was in vehicle involved in other fatal accidents

Soldier who died in training accident remembered

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WAINWRIGHT, Alta. — A soldier who died while training at Canadian Forces Base Wainwright was in a type of armoured vehicle that has been involved in other fatal accidents.

Sgt. Robert Dynerowicz died in hospital and three other soldiers were hurt after their LAV III crashed Tuesday on a gravel road on the base in east-central Alberta.

Col. Conrad Mialkowski, commander of 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, said the accident is under investigation.

“At this time we don’t understand fully what occurred,” Mialkowski said Wednesday. 

“But what we do know is that it was a single-vehicle accident of that light armoured vehicle or LAV III with Sgt. Dynerowicz as the crew commander, another crew member in the turret of the vehicle with him, a driver and a soldier in the back.”

The LAV III is an eight-wheeled, heavily armed and armoured utility vehicle that served as the backbone of Canada’s war effort in Afghanistan.

Some crew in LAV IIIs can drive with their head and shoulders exposed to give them greater visibility.    

Mialkowski said the LAV III has been the workhorse of the army for years and is safe. He said his unit is currently using hundreds of them.

In 2014, Lt.-Col. Dan Bobbitt died when his LAV III rolled during training at CFB Wainwright. Four other soldiers were injured.

Dynerowicz joined the Army in 2005 and was a member of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, a regiment based at CFB Petawawa in Ontario.

Mialkowski said Dynerowicz’s comrades held a memorial in the field to honour his memory and service.

“Our condolences go out to the family of Sgt. Dynerowicz, his parents, his sister, his loved ones,” he said. “It is a hard time for those of us in uniform, but even harder for those within his family.”

Dynerowicz’s uncle, Rob Bignall, said his nephew served two tours of duty in Afghanistan during his military career.

“Our lives are better having been touched by your kind soul! Rest in peace Robert!,” Bignall said in a post on Facebook.

Military and political leaders expressed their condolences.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of Sgt. Dynerowicz,” Lt.-Gen. Paul Wynnyk, commander of the Canadian Army, said in a statement.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley also offered their sympathies.

The military said Dynerowicz was taking part in Exercise Rugged Bear, a “rigorous training regime” that involves 3,000 soldiers from across the country.

It was the latest training accident to hit the Canadian military.

In March, Master Cpl. Alfred Barr, 31, died when his parachute failed to deploy during a training exercise near Yorkton, Sask.

Last November, Capt. Thomas McQueen, 29, died on impact when his CF-18 fighter jet crashed during a training mission near the Alberta-Saskatchewan boundary.

In 2015, search-and-rescue technician Sgt. Mark Salesse was buried in an avalanche while training in Banff National Park.

— By John Cotter in Edmonton

The Canadian Press

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